Happy New Year, and welcome to a new decade. There’s nothing like a parade to help you feel optimistic and joyous. So, in my opinion, there’s no better way to spend New Year’s Day than watching gorgeous floats and unique bands go by on Colorado Boulevard in the 121st annual Rose Parade. (See our 3rd annual photo spread on page 18 as well as coverage of other bowl bands throughout the issue.)
This year’s Rose Parade theme, “A Cut Above the Rest,” celebrated everyday heroes and those who inspire others by striving for continual improvement. The parade entries did not disappoint as they showcased philanthropists, athletes, military veterans and unique musical ensembles.
Highlights included Grand Marshall Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger who showed bravery and skill by safely landing a commercial airplane in the frigid Hudson River in January 2009; snowboarding dogs and a new Guinness World Record set by the float sponsored by Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods; and the Ohio State School for the Blind, known to be the only blind marching band in the country and perhaps even the world.
Another unsung hero stepped up this year. Faced with a difficult economy, the honored marching ensembles needed to work even harder to fundraise for their trips to Pasadena. Farmers Insurance Group, which is celebrating more than 50 years of Rose Parade participation, has become the Official Supporter of the Rose Parade Bands, helping high school bands raise thousands of dollars throughout the year by matching funds, donating raffle prizes and orchestrating local activities including hot air balloon rides. Its Rose Parade float “Salute to the Bands” showcased a 60-foot trumpet player.
These individuals and groups show that even in times of stress and uncertainty, we can all work harder and be more creative to rise above the crowd.
Make 2010 a banner year!
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
P.S. Ring in 2010 with a special $10 subscription price (available for a limited time). Jump on the bandwagon and subscribe now at www.halftimemag.com/ articles/subscribe to enjoy the sights, sounds and spirit of the marching arts all year long.